artist residency in motherhood

Today marks the one-month-until-our-baby's-due-date date.  Alhough it is probably meaningless for everyone else, for us, it feels significant because this means we're getting a lot closer to finally meeting our baby girl.  And as mentioned in previous posts, Erik and I can't help but wonder how this little bundle will affect our art: the creative process, the subject matter and the artwork itself.


I'm now keenly following the work of British conceptual artist Lenka Clayton (thanks Kathryn for introducing me to her work!)  She's been working in what she's called "a residency in motherhood."  Her art has been made in celebration of (not in spite of) her new role as a mother.  And while she already has a young'un and plenty of creative impetus in her little boy, Otto, she just gave birth to a little girl named Early, on Monday morning.


Lenka Clayton: artist residency in motherhood



I admit, I have mixed feelings about conceptual art (in general), but some of her pieces are certainly compelling, whether you're a new mom-artist or not. Noodle on these:





Maternity Leave at the Carnegie Museum from Lenka Clayton on Vimeo.


Dangerous Objects Made Safer:

Dangerous Objects Made Safer | work by Lenka Clayton


(this use of felt as a sort of symbol of safety, protective insulation and mending / healing reminds me of Joseph Beuys' conceptual works "Felt Suit" and "Infiltration for Piano")


The Distance I Can Be Away From My Son:

The Distance I Can Be Away From My Son | work by Lenka Clayton





And Clayton's artist statement is powerful.


Lenka Clayton artist statement: artist residency in motherhood



This gives me inspiration and fuel to think boldly and imaginatively about maintaining a robust studio practice, while also tending to the new demands of motherhood.  They do not, as Lenka points out, have to be mutually exclusive endeavors.  Thanks Lenka for paving the way for other moms to step out and marry motherhood with artistic productivity and vibrancy!  Perhaps I will join you in carving out an "artist residency in motherhood."